Between 13-15 February the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) welcomed leaders from the Philippines Air Force for a series of bilateral discussions and expert exchanges at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. 

The initiative, part of the Airmen-to-Airmen Talks (A2ATs), aims to strengthen military ties and improve interoperability between the US and its Indo-Pacific allies. The discussions are part of an ongoing effort to foster military cooperation and ensure preparedness for joint operations.

During the meetings, participants reviewed 183 items and highlighed 10 key efforts for future collaboration, as said US Air Force Lt Col Morgan Clark, the PACAF Philippines desk officer. 

Key topics of the talks included enhancing air domain awareness, planning combined air patrols, modernising military capabilities, and boosting information sharing between the two forces. Maj Gen Ramon Guiang of the Philippines Air Force expressed appreciation for the constructive dialogue and the opportunity to plan for upcoming challenges.

“I extend my heart felt gratitude to PACAF staff for your willingness to engage in dialog and share your experiences and expertise,” said Maj Gen Guiang, Vice Commanding General of the PAF. “Together we are stronger and more resilient in facing emerging challenges.”

US Air Force Maj Gen Mark Weber, Air National Guard Assistant to the PACAF Commander and co-chair to the A2AT, made remarks regarding the strength to the alliance between the US and Philippines. “We proved the US and Philippines have, and continue to build, an unbreakable bond,” said Weber, Air National Guard Assistant to the PACAF Commander. “Together we have proven we are reliable security partners focused on preserving peace and prosperity across the region.”

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Philippines has made a number of major purchases for its Air Force recently, with the purchase of a new C-130H in February 2024, two new T-129 Attack Helicopters in December 2023, and the expansion of its Cessna 208B ISR Aircraft fleet in September 2023. In August 2023, Sweden offered the JAS-39 Gripen aircraft to the Philippine Air Force as part of its ongoing modernisation.